• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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FG flags off distribution of farm inputs to national agricultural cooperatives apexes to boost food security 

Agric growth slows to 1.30% in Q3 on production shortfall

The federal government through the minister of state, ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi has flagged off the distribution of farm inputs to members of the National Agricultural Cooperative Apexes in Abuja, a statement by  Eremah Anthonia (Mrs), the Chief Information Officer for Director of Information informed.

The Minister demonstrated the gesture at the Cooperative Intervention in support of the Federal Government’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria to enhance food security and job creation recently.

The Minister stated that the gesture is a message of Hope that the Cooperative Sector will be reformed, rebranded and revived, pointing out that the Cooperative laws were obsolete, not updated, and have not taken note of the recent dynamics.

Abdullahi stressed that “poverty is on the increase, and there is a need to step it down, noting that cooperative is governed by trust, mutual beneficial interest, and not by self-interest”

“It means that you must be tolerant, accommodating and be ready to allow someone get food out of the plate”, he added.

He highlighted that the trust deficit was one reason why cooperatives have not grown in Nigeria compared to other countries.

He then, appealed to the leaders of the sector to change the narrative to suit the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, assuring that he would be the number one promoter of the Cooperative and also that the Minister would be the number one cooperator too. At the same time, the President will be the Grand Commander of Cooperator, emphasizing that a lot has to be done to rebuild the Sector.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry, Temitope Fashedemi, represented by the Director of Cooperatives, Alhaji Idris Sanni, stated that the Minister was in support of the Cooperative’s intervention in the distribution of farm inputs to Members of National Agricultural Cooperative Apexes to enhance food security.

He noted that the initiative aligned with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s mandate to ensure food security, poverty eradication, and economic growth.

In his remarks, the President, of the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, International Cooperative Alliance-Africa and the Vice President, of International Cooperative Alliance, Tajudeen Oriyomi Ayeola pointed out that he assumed duty as the President, seven years ago, having worked with the former Minister, Audu Ogbe and now the present Minister.

“He commended the Minister, pointing out that his appointment was an example of a right peg in the right hole”

He conferred on him the Cooperative Champion and recalled that in the meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the challenges of Cooperatives were raised to include lack of attention, trust deficit, and sharp practices amongst others.

The Cooperative President stated that the cooperative is an instrument of development and has a lot to do, pointing out that by his experience with a cooperative movement in Africa, he travelled a lot and for the past seven to eight years, he noted that the Cooperative Movement of Kenya has been contributing between 40 and 43 per cent for the GDP of Kenya, stressing that we can do better in Nigeria.

Speaking further, he pointed out that the Cooperative contribution in Nigeria is not captioned in the GDP and emphasized that the issue of gross deficit and sharp practices by some members is something that is overestimated, “people think that it is the movement that is responsible for it, Cooperative movement is well structured and regulated”, the Cooperative President added.

He pointed out that those involved in sharp practices are not registered members of the Cooperatives and as such, government itself has a lot to do, by coming up with programmes and more attention to the Cooperative movement.

The highlight of the event was the distribution of the improved seeds and fish feeds to the cooperative leaders.